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Monday, 26 February 2018
Page: 1781

Mr CRAIG KELLY (Hughes) (11:26): First I would like to congratulate the member for Dunkley for bringing this motion to the House. I would also like to congratulate the member for Holt on his words during debate on this motion. The word 'Holodomor', literally translated from Ukrainian, means death by hunger, or to kill by hunger—to starve to death. It refers specifically to the brutal famine imposed by Stalin's regime on the Soviet Ukraine and primarily ethnic Ukrainian areas in the northern Caucasus from 1932 to 1933, which claimed an estimated seven million lives. We say seven million quickly. That is the entire population of the state of New South Wales that were killed in the Holodomor. In its broadest sense the Holodomor is usually described as the Ukrainian genocide that began in 1929 with massive waves of deadly deportation of Ukraine's most successful farmers, as well as deportation and execution of Ukraine's religious, intellectual and cultural leaders, culminating in the devastating forced famine that killed more than seven million innocent individuals, as I said.

This is just another in the long list of deaths caused by communism in the 20th century. History demonstrates that in every country that communism was tried it resulted in poverty, massacres, starvation, terror and death. The black book of communism puts it close to 100,000,000 deaths over the past century: 65 million in the People's Republic of China; 20 million in the Soviet Union; two million in Cambodia; two million in North Korea; 1.7 million in Ethiopia; 1.5 million in Afghanistan; one million in the Eastern Bloc; one million in Vietnam; 150,000 in Latin America. The list goes on. Alan Charles Kors, Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania, said of communism: 'No cause ever in the history of all humankind has produced more cold-blooded tyrants, more slaughter of innocents and more orphans than socialism with power. It has surpassed exponentially all other systems of production in turning out the dead.'

While we may never know the exact number of deaths from communism, we also must remember the poverty, the hardship, the cruelty and torture that occurred under communist regimes. We ask ourselves, why does communism always fail? Why does it always end up in such terror? I would argue that it, firstly, does not appreciate the importance of incentives in the economy. It fails to understand that the wealth of an economy can rise and fall, and that attempts to redistribute wealth destroy the very incentives that create it in the first place.

History has shown that communism has been nothing other than a philosophy that has destroyed millions of lives—100 million lives. Yet, in contrast, we have seen free market capitalism be the greatest wealth-creation machine that the world has ever seen—lifting close to one billion people out of poverty since the fall of the Iron Curtain. Yet, if we walk around our university campuses today, we are likely to spot students wearing Che Guevara T-shirts. You see in Melbourne young students protesting with the hammer and sickle emblazoned on their T-shirts.

We owe it to the 100 million dead, the victims of communism, to tell their story. We owe it to them to continually remind today's generation that communism is nothing other than a violent philosophy that has destroyed millions of lives. It is a death cult. We cannot trivialise it. Again I thank the member for Dunkley for this important motion. It's important that we continue to remind today's generations of the horrors of communism and the devastation and havoc it has wreaked across the past century.